Our idea of a “fun” holiday season weekend activity … why counting and sorting contributions to Jake’s community service project to benefit Dreams For Kids DC‘s Holiday Celebration and DC-area homeless, of course!!!
I’ve been wondering why Jake manages to stay so focused on these tasks. I think part of it has do to with Jake’s enthusiasm for the upcoming DFKDC Holiday Party … and why not … he’ll be there with his DFKDC “framily”, using his powers for good, and he’ll have the opportunity to decorate cookies, or so I’m lead to believe. He’s just stoked as can be for December 19th, 2015!!!
Maybe it’s the repetition of the physical action of sorting the various items.
Maybe it’s the visual aspect of finding a familiar corporate logo.
Maybe it’s knowing that what he’s doing will be helpful to others.
Well, whatever it is, I am truly impressed by my sweet young man!
Check out Jake’s latest collection numbers to date:
On Nov. 29, 1975, the passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), guaranteed access to a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment to every child with a disability. Subsequent amendments, as reflected in the IDEA, have led to an increased emphasis on access to the general education curriculum, the provision of services for young children from birth to five, transition planning and accountability for the achievement of students with disabilities.
Thanks to IDEA, children like Jake not only have the opportunity to have an education that meets a their unique needs, but also an education that prepares them for further education, employment, and independent living. In Jake’s case, this may take the form of a career in the culinary arts … Jake has often expressed a desire to work for Wegmans, and more recently, at Wegmans’ “The Pub” restaurant.
Jake began his academic journey in December 2006 shortly before turning 2 1/2 years old. It’s not a stretch to say there was hesitation on my part, putting my “baby” on a school bus, but, I see now what a great gift IDEA has been to Jake and our entire family.
When my son, Jake, began 6th grade this school year, we learned that our school district requires 6th graders to participate in community service. When I looked at all the forms and requirements, I admit I felt a bit overwhelmed … and then concerned … I wasn’t sure that would be the most effective way to explain community service and all the associated requirements (written documentation, oral presentation, and so forth) to him.
Well, it turns out I just needed to give Jake a chance to show what he can do and not worry about any limitations. One of his 1st quarter projects involved volunteering at a Dreams for Kids DC (DFKDC) Soccer clinic featuring DC United starter Sean Franklin; Jake interacted with participants, parents, and volunteers in the process of making name tags for them. This may not seem like much, but, for an individual on the Autism spectrum…
But, I get it … maybe collecting bags, purses, and toiletries may not be your thing.
That’s okay … there are other ways to help!
If you are in the DC Metropolitan area, consider volunteering at the 2015 DFKDC Holiday Celebration on Saturday, December 19, 2015; volunteers will be needed in areas such as: registration, set up/clean up, for activities (photo booth, face painting, cupcake/cookie decorating, holiday card writing, ornament decorating, photo frame making, present wrapping, t-shirt decorating, prepare and serve food & drinks). It’s estimated that 150 volunteers are needed for this event. You can sign up to volunteer HERE!
Want some other ideas? How about …
Help get the word out about DFKDC Holiday Celebration! Using social media, newsletter or other networks, letting others know what this event is about through personal and professional contacts can be extremely powerful.
Are you a face painter, juggler, dancer or entertainer? involved in media? Please email Glenda Fu at GFU@Dreamsforkids.org to help entertain our participants that day!
Become a citizen Philanthropist and start your own fundraising campaign to benefit 2015 DFKDC Holiday Celebration. You can set up a campaign easily for you or your organization through www.Citizeneffect.org.